The key to making your beauty routine more sustainable is down to 3 key things. Reducing the amount of products you use. Finding reusable products. Recycling where possible.
Having worked in beauty for over 15 years, I was addicted to a lengthy beauty regime. As I became more sustainably aware I began to consider if I really needed everything I was currently using, what could be recycled and the ethics of the brand I was buying from.
Read on for my tips on how you can make your beauty routine more sustainable.
Can beauty be sustainable?
The beauty industry creates 120 billion units of packaging every year and is the number 1 contributor to plastic waste production.
According to the epa only 13% of total plastic packaging was recycled in 2018. For beauty the number will be even lower as the packaging is difficult to recycle.
These numbers are scary, things are changing but not fast enough.
The global shampoo market is about $28 billion a year. The market for shampoo bars is about $10 million. There are lots of new brands that are innovating with less packaging and formulas which are less toxic and more conscious of the environment.
The big beauty conglomerates have started to shift and consider their impact on the environment. But their progress is slow. How many shampoo bars are stocked in your local supermarket?
Tips for more sustainable beauty routines
It’s time to take a good look at your beauty regime. Beauty marketing is very persuasive and the aim is always to sell the whole system. But what do you actually need? For example if skin aging is your main concern then according to a study published in the annals of internal medicine, suncream users showed 24% less aging than those using the cream they usually did.
Consider the brand who you are buying from. Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for a sustainable beauty brand.
- Are they B corp certified?
- What other bodies certify or endorse them?
- Are they transparent about their sourcing?
- Do they trade directly with suppliers?
- Do they support fair trade?
- Are ingredients organic?
- What and how much packaging do they use and how far is it shipped?
- Do they have an end of life solution for packaging?
- Do they support good causes?
Many people’s beauty routines consist of a variety of cleansers, toners, masks, serums, lotions and creams. Followed by primers, matifiers, powders, liners and lipsticks. There’s a lot of drama and theatre in beauty and it’s easy to get swept away.
Your first step should be to evaluate your skincare. Don’t panic, you don’t need to cut everything down immediately, start by cutting one product and see if you notice a difference and continue from there.
You can also look at using reusable products such as cotton pads or face cloths for makeup removal. Using your hands instead of brushes to apply makeup. You can even buy a reusable cotton bud to correct any makeup mishaps.
Try to use products with no packaging. But if you can’t manage this, there are options. If you live in the USA you can sign up to Terracycle. They recycle many different types of waste for free, you can even earn rewards. Shop through Loop available in USA, UK, France, Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany where products are delivered in reusable containers which are returned and refilled.
There is a lot of packaging that can’t be recycled. Check your local recycling provider for specific information. Generally small items under 2 inches, dark packaging, caps, and sprays and dispensers can’t be recycled. If you can avoid buying products with these types of packaging it will enable you to recycle more.
Sustainable Beauty Priorities
If you can buy your beauty without packaging this is the best solution. If not, you can choose products that have easily recyclable packaging. You can reduce the amount you buy, and lastly, buy from a brand that supports sustainable practices.
We hope this has been helpful. Click here to discover sustainable beauty brands.